10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Hair Texture

The Best Products, Haircuts, and a Few Broken Rules

woman with frizzy hair
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When it comes to choosing your best hairstyle, nothing is more important than hair texture. Not even your face shape. Your hair's density and texture dictate your hairstyle, your hair length, and how your stylist cuts your hair. It also plays a big role in your daily hair care routine.

Just as there are rules to the perfect haircut, there are always rule breakers. Some of the very best hairstyles can be seen on women who don't adhere to the edicts of the beauty industry.

Let's explore the rules about hair texture that every woman should know and discover a few ways to break them.

6 Types of Hair Texture

There are six basic types of hair texture: fine, straight, wavy, coarse, frizzy, and curly. You can also be a combination of these. For example, you might have naturally fine, straight hair. You may have curly hair that tends to frizz or wavy hair that's also coarse.

It is good to know your hair type and texture when it comes to picking a haircut and styling your hair. Your hairstylist should be able to suss out your hair's situation by touching it and seeing how it moves, but you can do it on your own as well.

To figure out your hair's texture, grab sections of it on the top, sides, and back and watch how it falls when you let go.

  • If your hair falls flat and limp, you have fine hair.
  • If your hair sticks up straight or if it poufs up and away from your scalp and face, you have thick, textured hair.
  • Anything in between is medium texture.

It's natural for blonde hair to be thinner in texture, while dark hair tends to be thicker.

Curly Hair Tends to Look Best Long

Beauty experts will tell you that curly hair needs length to weigh it down, otherwise it will pouf up. This is true. As a general rule, the longer you can grow your curly hair, the better.

You can, however, break the rules when it comes to your curls. Many women have great curly hair that pops all over the place and it can be styled elegantly or have a fun, bouncy look to match your personality.

Don't Grow Fine Hair Too Long

Just as curly hair needs length to weigh it down, fine hair needs to be shorter to retain body. Long, fine hair can appear flat and lifeless.

That said, women with certain face shapes look amazing in long hair, no matter their hair's texture. Round and square faces look great with longer hair because it elongates face that tends to be as wide as it is long.

If you have fine hair and a long face, you may be better off with shorter hair, but this doesn't mean you are relegated to bobs the rest of your life. You can easily get away with a shoulder-length cut. 

Layers Work on All Hair Textures

Layers are like magic. They build in movement, soften your hair's lines, create body, and can keep your curly hair from looking like a Christmas tree. The good news is that they work on all hair textures.

Bangs Are Best for Straight, Coarse, and Fine Hair

Bangs can be a big asset for many women. If you have curly or frizzy hair, you might feel a bit left out because it's an age-old beauty rule that bangs work best on straight, coarse, and fine hair but never curly hair.

According to that theory, unless you're willing to chemically or manually straighten your hair and bangs each day, you're better off not getting bangs.

Curly-haired women can break this rule if you go for long, side-swept bangs. The shortest layer should hit at your ear and you should always make sure your stylist cuts bangs when they're dry. Hair shrivels up when it dries and you don't want short curls boing-ing out from your forehead.

Most Hair Has Some Wave

If you have straight hair and let it air dry, scrunching as it dries, you'll find that your hair can actually appear naturally wavy. The fact is that most hair has some natural wave to it, even women with incredibly fine hair. It might not look great wavy, but it is good to know you can get a wave out of it.

Find the Products for Your Hair Texture

Women with fine or straight hair need different products than women with coarse, curly, or frizzy hair.

From your shampoo to your styling products, be sure to choose products that match your natural texture.

The best products for fine hair include volumizers, mild shampoos that won't weigh hair down, dry shampoos (or baby powder), hairspray, and homemade vinegar rinses that help remove product build-up. Women with dry hair should consider moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, smoothing hair treatments, and serums.

Anyone Can Create Body

The secret to creating body with straight, flat, or wavy hair is the proper hair product and a good blow dry. You need the right haircut, of course, and will want to add layers. After that, adding a volumizing spray or sea salt spray will instantly create more body.

Wash as Often as You Like

You may have heard that you should never wash your hair every day. However, you can feel free to break that rule if you need to.

Fine hair usually means oily hair, which is why you can get away with a daily wash. On the other hand, coarse hair is typically dry, so a weekly wash is often recommended. It's your hair, though, and you should shampoo it as often as you need to, even if it is every day.

For oily hair, try a dry shampoo or baby powder at the roots. This will soak up extra oils on the days when you skip a shampoo.

If you have frizzy hair, your secret to softer hair is in the conditioning. You'll find it best to condition after every shampoo and do hot oil treatments weekly. Some women with curly or frizzy hair never shampoo. This is known as the "no-poo" movement. They simply go right to the conditioner instead. 

The Right Tools for Your Hair Texture

Different hair textures require different hair tools as well. For example, women with straight, wavy, and coarse hair can invest in a great round boar's hair brush as well as a paddle brush for blowouts. It's also worth your time to consider investing in a good ionic blowdryer. The time it takes to dry hair is cut down with a quality dryer and your hair won't frizz or fry.

Curly hair is trickier because it has a tendency to frizz when it's over-handled.

Some women don't use hairbrushes or blow dryers on their curly hair, opting instead to let it air dry. Others dry their hair from below on a low setting and use a diffuser.

Experiment with different approaches and you will find the best tools and techniques that work for your hair. Use these recommendations as guidance to help you avoid costly mistakes, but always keep in mind that every woman (and her hair) is different.

Embrace Your Hair Texture

If there's one thing you learn about beauty over the years, it's that we are harder on ourselves than anyone else is. For years, I described myself in this way to my hairstylist, "I have a big forehead, so I prefer bangs. I have a long face so I shouldn't wear my hair long and I have fine, flat hair so I need to retain body."

Notice the negativity in that statement: "big forehead," "long face," and "flat hair." The truth is my face isn't very long at all. Sometimes it seems kind of square. Other times it could be considered oval. And my hair is actually thick and, yes, fine. But it's thick! Who complains about having thick hair? As for my forehead, women with short foreheads probably covet my big one just as I'm coveting theirs. 

When we feel stuck with what we are born with, it's easy to be eager for change. But our lives will be much easier if we embrace our natural hair texture and every other feature we're born with.

This means fewer hours with a curling iron if you have straight or fine hair and fewer hours with a flat iron if you have curly or wavy hair that you want to lie flat. Take down the ponytail and show off that hair!

Instead of hating on your hair when you look at it in the mirror, call out things you like about your: its thickness, its length, its shine. Soon, you may find your attitude about your hair (and yourself) has changed. Most importantly, keep breaking the "rules."